|Publication number||US7649337 B2|
|Application number||US 11/435,596|
|Publication date||Jan 19, 2010|
|Filing date||May 17, 2006|
|Priority date||May 17, 2005|
|Also published as||DE102006023188A1, US20060267556|
|Publication number||11435596, 435596, US 7649337 B2, US 7649337B2, US-B2-7649337, US7649337 B2, US7649337B2|
|Inventors||Nancy Uehlein-Proctor, Jeffrey S. Holly, Matthew J. Mergener|
|Original Assignee||Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (199), Non-Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (50), Classifications (9), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119 to Provisional Patent Application No. 60/682,192 filed on May 17, 2005, the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The present application incorporates by reference the entire contents of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/435,645, filed May 17, 2006.
The present invention relates generally to power tools, and more particularly to rotary power tools, such as drills and screwdrivers.
Power tools, such as rotary power tools, are used to work on or cut a variety of workpieces, such as metal, wood, drywall, etc. Such tools typically include a housing, a motor supported by the housing and connectable to a power source, and a spindle rotatably supported by the housing and selectively driven by the motor. A tool holder, such as a chuck, is mounted on the forward end of the spindle, and a tool element, such as, for example, a drill bit, is mounted in the chuck for rotation with the chuck and with the spindle to operate on a workpiece.
In some embodiments, the invention provides a method of operating a power tool. The power tool can include a housing supporting a motor, a switch assembly, and a fuel gauge. The method can include the acts of activating the switch assembly to electrically connect the motor and a battery, recording a state of charge of the battery, displaying the state of charge of the battery on the fuel gauge before electrically connecting the motor and the battery, and stopping the display of the state of charge before deactivating the switch assembly.
In other embodiments, the invention provides a method of operating a power tool including a housing supporting a motor and a fuel gauge. The method can include the acts of connecting a battery to the housing, the battery having an at rest state of charge, displaying the at rest state of charge of the battery on the fuel gauge, and activating the motor and continuing to display the at rest state of charge of the battery on the fuel gauge.
The invention also provides a power tool including a movable spindle for supporting a tool element, and a housing supporting a motor and a drive mechanism driven by the motor. The drive mechanism can be operably connected to the spindle for causing movement of the spindle relative to the housing. The housing can have a forward end supporting the spindle and a rearward end. The power tool can also include a battery connectable to the rearward end, and a fuel gauge supported on the housing for displaying an at rest state of charge of the battery.
In some embodiments, the invention provides a method of operating a battery charger. The battery charger can include a body defining an aperture and a charging circuit extending through the body. The method can include the acts of inserting a battery into the aperture along an insertion axis, electrically connecting the battery to the charging circuit to charge the battery and pivoting the battery about the axis relative to the battery charger to secure the battery in the battery charger.
In other embodiments, the invention provides a method of operating a battery charger. The battery charger can include a body and a charging circuit. One of the charger and the battery can include an outwardly extending protrusion, and the other of the charger and the battery can define a recess for receiving the outwardly extending protrusion. The method can include the acts of electrically connecting the battery and the charging circuit to charge the battery before engaging the protrusion in the recess to secure the battery to the body of the charger.
In other embodiments, the invention provides a method of operating a battery charger. The battery charger can include a body and a charging circuit extending through the body. The method can include the acts of electrically connecting the battery to the charging circuit to charge the battery, and moving the battery with respect to the battery charger to secure the battery to the body while continuing to charge the battery.
The invention also provides a combination of a battery and a battery charger. The battery can include a casing and a battery cell supported in the casing. The battery charger can include a body and a charging circuit. One of the charger and the battery can include an outwardly extending protrusion, and the other of the charger and the battery can define a recess for receiving the outwardly extending protrusion. The battery can be movable relative to the body of the charger between a locked position, in which the protrusion can lockingly engage the recess, and an unlocked position, in which the protrusion can removably engage the recess. The battery cell can be electrically connectable to the charging circuit of the battery charger when the battery is in the locked position and the unlocked position.
Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.
Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of embodiment and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawing. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless specified or limited otherwise, the terms “mounted,” “connected,” “supported,” and “coupled” and variations thereof are used broadly and encompass both direct and indirect mountings, connections, supports, and couplings. Further, “connected” and “coupled” are not restricted to physical or mechanical connections or couplings.
The power tool 10 includes a housing assembly 12 having a body 14 and a main operator's handle portion or hand grip 16 connected to a rearward portion 18 of the body 14.
The body 14 defines a longitudinal body axis 22 and houses a drive mechanism 26, a motor 28, and a spindle 30 supported by a forward end 31 of the body 14. Together, the drive mechanism 26, the motor 28, and the spindle 30 are operable to rotate a tool element (not shown) generally about a tool axis for working on a workpiece (also not shown). In other embodiments, the drive mechanism 26, the motor 28, and the spindle 30 can also or alternatively reciprocate the tool element along the tool axis for working on a workpiece.
In the illustrated embodiment of
As shown in
In other embodiments (not shown), the orientation of the axes 22, 32, and 34 may be different, such as, for example, generally parallel or skew. Also, the hand grip 16 may be movable in other manners, such as, for example, slidably, rotatably, or pivotably about two axes (i.e., about the pivot axis 34 and about an axis parallel to the body axis 22 and/or to the grip axis 32).
In some embodiments, the body 14 is formed of two body halves 14 a, 14 b (see
The hand grip 16 is movable relative to the body 14 between a first position (shown if
Also, the hand grip 16 is pivotable relative to the body 14 to change the length of the power tool 10, measured from a forward end 31 of the body 14 to a rearward end 44 of the hand grip 16. In the position shown in
With respect to the illustrated embodiment of
The power tool 10 includes an on/off switch assembly 74 which is operable to connect the motor 28 to the power source. In the illustrated embodiment of
In other embodiments (not shown), the power and direction of rotation of the motor 28 may be controlled by other elements and structure. In one such alternate embodiment, a single trigger can be actuated to cause the motor shaft 58 to rotate relative to the body 14. The direction of rotation of the motor shaft 58 can be controlled by a separate direction switch, which may be operable between a “forward” position and a “reverse” position, and may additionally be provided with a lockout feature to prevent actuation of the trigger and energization of the motor 28.
In some embodiments, the power tool 10 can include a speed control mechanism 82, which is operable to adjust the rotational speed of a tool element supported by the power tool 10 and/or the rotational speed of the spindle 30 between two or more different rotational speeds (e.g., a high speed, a low speed, and intermediate speeds). As shown in
As shown in
In the illustrated embodiment, the locking assembly 110 includes a detent arrangement between the hand grip 16 and the body 14 to provide a positive engagement between the hand grip 16 and the body 14. The locking assembly 110 includes a locking member 112, a portion of which is selectively engageable in a first recess, to fix the hand grip 16 in the first position relative to the body 14, and a second recess, to fix the hand grip 16 in the second position relative to the body 14. The locking assembly 110 can also include additional recesses in which the locking member 112 can be engageable to fix the hand grip 16 in additional positions relative to the body 14.
The locking assembly 110 can also include an actuator 114 for moving the locking member 112 between the locked and unlocked positions. In the illustrated embodiment of
To move the hand grip 16 relative to the body 14, the actuator 114 is operated to move the locking projection 114 out of engagement with the recesses. The hand grip 16 is then moved relative to the body 14 to a position corresponding to engagement of the locking projection 114 with one of the recesses. When the hand grip 16 is in the desired position, the locking projection 114 is moved (e.g., by a spring) into the corresponding recess.
In other embodiments (not shown), the locking assembly 110 may include a different locking arrangement, such as a frictional engagement between the hand grip 16 and the body 14. In such an embodiment, the locking assembly 110 may also include a positive engagement arrangement, such as inter-engaging teeth formed on the body 14 and the hand grip 16 which are engaged when the locking assembly 110 is in the locked condition.
The locking assembly 110 may also include a pivoting lockout, which prevents the hand grip 16 from being pivoted about the pivot axis 34 relative to the body 14 when the motor 28 is in operation and/or when the switch assembly 74 is activated.
The power tool 10 can also include a fuel gauge 118 for displaying a state of charge of the battery 200 supported in the battery chamber 56. As shown in
In some embodiments, such as the embodiment shown in
In some embodiments, the controller 320 is programmed to measure state of charge in response to the activation of the trigger 77, as discussed below. In these embodiments, the battery state of charge data is measured prior to activation of the motor 28; that is, before the battery state of charge is effected by the current draw being supplied to the motor 28. This measurement of the battery state of charge represents an at rest state of charge of the battery 200. In these embodiments, only the at rest state of charge measurements are displayed on the fuel gauge 118. In some embodiments, the state of charge data is displayed for a predetermined time after the trigger 77 is actuated. In one embodiment, the predetermined time is approximately two (2) seconds. In other embodiments, the predetermined time can be greater than two (2) seconds. In further embodiments, the predetermined time can be less than two (2) seconds. After the predetermined time is exceeded, the display 120 can be cleared. In one embodiment, the display 120 is cleared when the predetermined time expires regardless whether the trigger 77 is still actuated. In some embodiments, the display 120 is cleared when the predetermined time expires regardless of the trigger 77 activity. In still further embodiments, the display 120 is cleared prior to expiration of the predetermined time (e.g., approximately two (2) seconds) when the trigger 77 is released.
The circuit 310 also includes the direction switch 76 which controls and/or selects the rotational direction of the motor shaft 58. The circuit 310 also includes an on/off switch 330, a brake 335, a mechanical torque clutch 340 and a temperature sensing device or thermistor 350. In some embodiments, the on/off switch 330 and the brake 335 can include a field effect transistor, such as a MOSFET.
The on/off switch 330 is controlled by the controller 320 and activated by the controller 320 under various conditions. For example, the controller 320 activates the on/off switch 330 to a conducting state for power to be delivered to the motor 28 in response to activation of the trigger 77. The controller 320 can also activate the switch 330 to a non-conducting state to interrupt current being supplied to the motor 28 when the state of charge of the battery 200 reaches a cut-off threshold or when an overload condition is sensed by the controller 320. In some embodiments, an overload condition can occur when the temperature of the battery 200 as sensed by the controller 320 via the thermistor 350 reaches a high temperature threshold or when the current being supplied to the motor 320 reaches a high current threshold. In these embodiments, the controller 320 can indicate to a user that an overload condition has occurred via the display 120, such as flashing one or more lights 122.
The brake 335 is controlled by the controller 320 and activated by the controller 320 when the torque of the motor 28 exceeds the torque setting of the tool 10 as sensed by controller 320 via the clutch 340.
As shown in
In the illustrated embodiment of
In the illustrated embodiment of
As shown in
The battery 200 also includes a first (e.g., a negative) battery terminal 202 a and second (e.g., a positive) battery terminal 202 b, portions of which are accessible through the contact recesses 216 a, 216 b to electrically connect the battery cell 208 to the corresponding electrical terminals (not shown) of the power tool 10, or alternatively, to the electrical terminals (not shown) of a battery charger. In some embodiments, the battery terminals 202 a and 202 b can also or alternatively at least partially physically connect the battery 200 to the hand grip 16 of the power tool 10.
As shown in
In the illustrated embodiment, when a battery 200 is inserted into the battery chamber 56 of a power tool 10, the battery 200 can be pivoted about the battery axis 201, which can be coincident with the grip axis 32 so that the first battery terminal 202 a of the battery 200 wipes across the electrical terminal of the power tool, cleaning the battery terminal 202 a of the battery 200 and the corresponding power tool terminal before an electrical connection is established between the battery 200 and the power tool 10.
Similarly, the second battery terminal 202 b of the battery 200 can be wiped across the electrical terminal of the power tool, cleaning the electrical connector 202 b of the battery 200 and the corresponding power tool terminal. In this manner, the first and second battery terminals 202 a, 202 b of the battery 200 and the first and second terminals of the power tool are cleaned each time a battery 200 is electrically connected to the power tool 10 and/or each time a battery 200 is disconnected from the power tool 10.
In the illustrated embodiment of
As shown in
In the illustrated embodiment of
In some embodiments, the battery 200 includes a locking arrangement 220 for locking the battery 200 in the battery chamber 56 of the power tool 10. In the illustrated embodiment of
As shown in
Corresponding slots extend axially along the sides of the battery chamber 56 of the power tool 10. One of these slots is sized and shaped to receive the first lug 222 a and the other slot is sized and shaped to receive the second lug 222 b, thereby ensuring that the battery 200 can only be inserted into the power tool 10 in a single desired orientation (i.e., with the battery terminals 202 a, 202 b of the battery 200 aligned with and electrically connected to corresponding terminals of the power tool 10).
In some such embodiments, the slots extend axially along the inner wall of the battery chamber 56 of the power tool 10 and include lower ends which extend circumferentially around at least a portion of the inner wall of the battery chamber 56. In these embodiments, the slots are substantially L-shaped. In this manner, after the battery 200 is inserted axially into the battery chamber 56 of the power tool 10, the battery 200 can be pivoted about the battery axis 201 and relative to the housing 12 to lockingly engage the lugs 222 a, 222 b in the respective L-shaped receiving slots to lockingly connect the battery 200 to the power tool 10. In other embodiments (not shown), the locking arrangement 220 may include a single lug and a single receiving slot.
As shown in
As shown in
The charging circuit 401 can include similar components and implement similar charging algorithms as the charging circuits shown and described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/719,680, filed Nov. 20, 2003, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/139,020, filed May 24, 2005, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/266,007, filed Nov. 2, 2005, the entire contents of each of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
In the illustrated embodiment of
As best shown in
In some embodiments, the receiving slots 418 a, 418 b can be differently sized so that the battery 200 can only be inserted into the battery chamber 403 in a required orientation (i.e., with the battery terminals 202 a, 202 b engaging respective terminals 420 a, 420 b of the battery charger 400).
In the illustrated embodiment of
As shown in
In embodiments of the charger 400, such as the illustrated embodiment of
In some such embodiments, the charger 400 is operable to charge the battery 200 while battery 200 is in either the locked position or the unlocked position. This can be a point of convenience for operators, some of whom may wish to quickly insert the battery 200 for charging without having to pivot the battery 200 toward a locked position. Alternatively, in applications in which the charger 400 is mounted on a wall or another vertical surface (i.e., so that the battery chamber 403 opens in a direction substantially parallel to the ground), operators can insert the battery 200 into the battery chamber 403 and pivot the battery 200 toward the locked position so that the battery 200 can be charged and so that the battery 200 does not fall out of the charger 400 during charging.
As shown in
As shown in
A charge indicator 412 (e.g., a light-emitting diode (LED) or another light) can be supported on the upper charger casing 402 a for displaying charge data to an operator (e.g., charge time remaining, charging in progress, charging complete, etc.). In other embodiments, the charger 400 can also or alternatively include other indicators or displays.
Operation of the power tool will be discussed with respect to
For operation, an operator grasps the hand grip 16 with a first hand and grasps the body 14 with a second hand and pivots the hand grip 16 about the pivot axis 34 from the first position (shown in
If the locking assembly 110 is in the locked position, the operator can move the actuator 114 with respect to the housing 12 to move the locking member 112 from the locked position toward the unlocked position before and/or during pivoting of the body 14 and hand grip 16. When a desired orientation between the body 14 and the hand grip 16 is achieved, the operator can insert a tool into the spindle 30.
The operator can also insert the battery 200 into the battery chamber 56 to provide power to the power tool 10. The operator can then move the trigger 77 toward an operational position, in turn engaging the direction switch 76. When the trigger 77 is activated, power is supplied to the electrical circuit 310 from the battery 200 and the controller 320 wakes from a low power state. The controller 320 in turn takes a state of charge reading from the battery 200, stores the reading in the controller's internal memory (not shown) and activates the fuel gauge 118 to display the current at rest state of charge of the battery 200.
Once the at rest battery state of charge has been measured, the controller 320 switches the normally non-conducting on/off switch 330 into the conducting state such that current is supplied from the battery cell 208 to the motor 28 as determined by the directional switch 76, causing the motor 28 to rotate the spindle 30 and the tool element. The controller 320 continues to display the state of charge reading via the fuel gauge 118 until the predetermined time period expires.
The operator can then move the hand grip 16 from the second position back to the first position, or alternatively, to an intermediate position (not shown) to orient the power tool 10 to operate in a confined workspace and/or to perform a different operation. Alternatively or in addition, an operator may pivot the hand grip 16 about the pivot axis 34 and relative to the body 14 with a flick of the wrist and/or by grasping one of the hand grip 16 and the body 14 with one hand and pressing the other of the hand grip 16 and the body 14 against his body.
In one embodiment, once the trigger 77 is released, the on/off switch 330 is positioned in the non-conducting state and the controller 320 beings to count down the waiting period. In this embodiment, if the user activates the trigger 77 prior to the expiration of the waiting period, the controller 320 approximates the battery's current state of charge based on the previous state of charge reading and the time duration that the motor 28 was running and displays that approximation. In some constructions, if the time duration that the motor 28 was running is longer than a predetermined time period, the controller 320 does not calculate or approximate a current state of charge reading of the battery and does not display any battery state of charge reading on the fuel gauge 118.
If the user activates the trigger subsequent to the expiration of the waiting period, the controller 320 takes another at rest battery state of charge reading prior to activation of the on/off switch 330 and power being supplied to the motor 28, as discussed above.
After operating the power tool 10 and the battery 200, the operator can remove the battery 200 from the power tool 10 and insert the battery 200 into the charger 400 to recharge the battery 200. In some embodiments, the operator can insert the battery 200 axially into the battery chamber 403 of the battery charger 400 to initiate battery charging. Alternatively or in addition, the operator can pivot the battery 200 toward a locked position so that the battery 200 is lockingly secured to the battery charger 400 during charging.
After charging is completed (e.g., after a predetermined charging time or when charging complete data is displayed on the indicator 412 of the charger 400), the operator can remove the battery 200 from the charger 400 and insert the newly charged battery 200 into the battery chamber 56 of the power tool 200. To confirm that the battery 200 is fully charged, the operator can depress the trigger 77, causing the state of charge data to be shown on the display 120.
One or more of the above-identified and other independent features and independent advantages are set forth in the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||320/112, 324/435, 81/473, 320/114, 324/434, 324/432|
|Aug 8, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC TOOL CORPORATION, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:UEHLEIN-PROCTOR, NANCY;HOLLY, JEFFREY S.;MERGENER, MATTHEW J.;REEL/FRAME:018069/0204;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060724 TO 20060727
|Nov 23, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Mar 8, 2011||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Mar 14, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4